Fransmart, the franchise development company that launched the franchise programs for Five Guys Burgers, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Vapiano, Zpizza, and several other restaurant franchise brands, signed a market partner in Germany to add an additional layer of support for European franchisees. The objective will be to replicate Fransmart’s services in the region, making it easier on both franchisees and franchisors as they penetrate new international markets.

Fransmart, which already has two offices in the U.S., has a 20-year track record of growing fast-casual brands into worldwide chains, including Vapiano, which originated in Germany. “The success we’ve experienced throughout the U.S. is due in large part to our knowing the market so well,” says Fransmart founder and CEO, Dan Rowe. “Fransmart is an industry expert in best practices, real estate, and operations.   Combining this know-how with a local partner who is familiar with the market’s suppliers and real estate, will add unique value to our process of selling and developing international franchise restaurants.”

With Fransmart planning to continuously add international market partners, the first remote office will be located in Stuttgart, Germany, and the market partner for the region EA Welt GmbH, led by Whitney Myrus. Myrus, who has worked with Dan Rowe since 1994 when he began restaurant franchise development, worked on the development of the Chesapeake Bagel Bakery chain.  He more recently worked for Verizon in Germany, as their sales manager of defense and international solutions for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. He says he has seen Vapiano grow in Germany and that Fransmart’s portfolio consists of unique, emerging restaurant brands that have the clear potential to become segment leaders in the restaurant industry.

“This is a guy who, if he lived in the U.S., would be running worldwide sales for Fransmart,” Rowe says. “He has the sales ability, market knowledge and big company experience to be the perfect fit as our first international partner.”

Fransmart has already sold European franchise rights for Freshii, the health casual concept whose CEO has appeared on “Undercover Boss” and The Food Network, and CaliBurger, an international leader for California style burgers and culture.

“Currently every one of our burger brands, Elevation Burger, Big Smoke Burger, and CaliBurger, are sold out in the Middle East,” Rowe says. “I think penetrating Europe would be a logical next move for these brands, especially as Five Guys restaurants are beginning to open up in the UK.”

Rowe says that Fransmart will also be looking to build on its portfolio by adding European-based brands.  “We will need someone in each market who can not only recognize the potential ‘next big thing’ among concepts, but can also adapt our systems to custom fit each market.”


Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, News